After having completed this book, I can say that this is a very timely book. This is the first time that I have encountered a book written by a convert to Islam regarding his own experience and then his treatment and struggles after having come into the Religion.
What sets this book apart is that the author puts himself to work in delving deep into the Religion, visiting the Muslim world, studying with scholars of various disciplines and not touring the convert circuit.
Do not buy this book if you are:
Looking for a theological polemic. This is not the purpose of the text. The point of the text is to give a simple lay out of the Religion and to not get bogged down with complex terminology and disputes.
Looking for the trophy convert tour. This is a real thing. There are people who will convert to Islam and then spend the rest of their time in the Religion touring different places of worship, hotels and cookouts. This is all while they continuously keep regurgitating the story of their conversion. The more slick among them will recycle his story over and over again but make it more sophisticated.
The more the length of the beard, the more Muslim the convert was before he even entered Islam.
Looking to have a picture presented of Islam that does not involve hardship. One of the stand out portions of this book is the constant growth that the author must undergo. He must go from strength to strength, scaling mountain after mountain and facing setback after setback. The end result of this was a bumpy ride along the way to the truth and satisfaction at having received it.
Buy this book if you are:
Trying to understand the foundational principles of Islam. Someone from outside of the Religion can examine it for what it is and then reach a conclusion after study.
Desiring to understand Islam but need more information about Muslim communities. Many of those that have entered Islam often find themselves alienated from their own families or other Muslims due to certain Muslim “communities.” This book will give you the signs to be on guard about so that you can avoid falling into this tribulation.
Seeking to become Muslim and want to know what will happen once you enter it. Many converts or potential converts don’t know what is expected of them upon converting to Islam. And in the Anglosphere there is no service or streamlined set of guidelines on caring for people that have come into Islam.
This was painfully brought to light by the author and explored in much detail. My interview with the author was done before I had read the book in detail and I feel that both the book and the interview will give a great insight into a world that some of us simply cannot understand.
At having reached its conclusion, I was very happy with the book and felt that it offered experience and knowledge of an area that was not present. This small book does not fit with normal convert literature in the genre on the market.
This book really deserves its own genre considering all the different layers of meaning within its pages. It is my sincere hope that future readers will appreciate it for what it is: an odyssey that begins with the search for truth and ends with maintaining it and striving to keep pure from possible sullying elements.